Maybe NOT how an emotionally abusive husband sees things

by Annie Kaszina on October 27, 2013

 wasbandssmallIf you’ve been in an emotionally abusive relationship, it’s absolutely normal NOT to feel too great about yourself. Your emotionally abusive husband has trained you to be at least as negative about yourself as he is about you.

Sadly, emotionally abusive partners are highly effective trainers: you end up believing their training is who you are. That’s what The Wasband (that is “my” wasband) did, and that is what they ALL do.

As I write this, I’m sitting in my favorite coffee bar, lapping up the buzz, feeling more than a little like road-kill. It’s been a tough few weeks dealing with issues related to my elderly mother’s mental health. So, I’m sipping a latte, putting my faith in a small caffeine fix, and idly checking my facebook account – because stress doesn’t do a great deal for focus and concentration – when I find this message:

“Annie, I just wanted to tell you that you saved my life, and you have continued to give me weekly healing and motivation since I found your blog. You are a saint.”

(Bless you, lovely sender for providing one of the biggest smiles of the day, so far.)

Inevitably, my thoughts turned to the Wasband: what would he have to say about that?

yeahrightsmallPlease understand that, in the interests of political correctness, we need to start with a caveat. According to someone who knows him, having undergone Anger Management, the Wasband is now A Changed Person: calmer, more reasonable, and doubtless, more charitable.

Well, he would say that, wouldn’t it?

All emotionally abusive partners do the “Look-At-Me-I’ve-Changed” routine, when they think there’s a little mileage in it.

The best of it may be that he truly believes that he is Mr Much Improved… Still, his behaviors over recent years, where I’ve been concerned, are unmistakably … Nasty.

These days, Mr Look-At-Me-I’ve-Changed would express himself calmly, clearly, and every bit as positively as he ever did.

And here is what he’d say:

“A saint!! That woman is no saint. I was a saint to put up with her for as long as I did.”

“She was unhinged. She was quite crazy. Totally inadequate, incredibly needy, and quite, quite crazy. She was so crazy she nearly drove me crazy!!”

“For someone else to think that she has anything useful to offer, they must be off their trolley, too.”

I'madoctorsmall“What does that woman mean that she ‘saved her life’? I’m a doctor, for Chrissakes. I saved lives. All the time. And what thanks did I get for it? All she does is spout her unhinged victim stuff, badmouthing me, a hard-working doctor who always did my best in impossible circumstances.”

“Besides, what does she know anyway? I’m the one with the medical degree. I’m the one who worked at the coal-face of humanity for 30 years.”

She’d be nothing without me. She was nothing with me, and she‘s nothing now.”

“Anything she ever learned about dealing with people’s emotional distress she could only have learned from ME.”

“She couldn’t possibly help anyone else, for Chrissakes, she couldn’t even help herself. I had to carry her.”

Have I ever mentioned before that emotional abusers make everything all about them?

On and on the self-serving rant would go. (Before they leave Planet Zog, all abusive clones are taught that ‘if you find a good rant, you stick to it and never, ever, let up.)

Now, in the years I lived under the Wasband’s rule, I truly believed I was the needy, pathetic, pointless little person he said I was.

That was who I thought I was when I left. That’s what made the early part of my healing journey so hard – until I discovered how I could stop thinking like an emotionally abused woman. It’s that belief that makes it so hard for every emotionally abused woman.

I’ve been very blessed to find my calling, and help other women.

I would never have believed I had it in me to make a valuable contribution to the World.

That’s exactly how the women I work with feel: they feel that they have nothing – or next to nothing – of value to give.

That’s how an emotionally abusive partner sees you.

I’ve said it before: emotional abusers are idiots when it comes to seeing the good in people. They are complete and utter… baboons when it comes to anything other than criticism and negativity. Despite training the searchlight of their scrutiny on you incessantly, there are a few things they miss: like your strength, your good qualities, your humanity, your potential. and your value.

That’s the way they operate.

Emotionally abusive partners bear a certain similarity to the fabled three monkeys. There is one key difference; their mantra, correctly speaking, runs:

3monkeyssmall

“ See no GOOD, hear no GOOD, speak no GOOD.”

That mantra means they’re bound to have difficulties when it comes to seeing the good in you.

That’s their issue.

Your job is to remove the mote that is in your own eye and, as they seem perfectly okay with it, to leave them to enjoy the beam in their own.”

 

 

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